Fri. July 10, 2020 – well, another week gone, same old stuff

Hot and humid.  Maybe rain.  In other words, July.

Certainly got hot yesterday here in the Bayou City.  Despite being Tree City USA, the sun was crisping up everything it touched.  I burned my forearm on the new door I had in the back of the truck.  The glass was too hot to touch.

So I manned up, got it to the shade, and let it chill in the grass for a while.  I removed the back door with the broken window pane, and determined that it would be easier to rehang the new door in the old frame than tear up the molding and old doorframe to install the new, pre-hung door as a unit.  It meant cutting new mortises for the hinges and strike plates, but it was totally worth it.  I will let the painter (my wife) make the repairs to the door jamb and strike side.  The new steel door will be marginally more secure than the old solid wood one too.  Then I had to get all the little grains of safety glass up.   The old door went on the heavy trash pile, which still hasn’t been collected.

I’ve now upgraded all three exterior doors since we moved in, and both doors at my rent house.   We changed all the interior doors here when we moved in- from flat hollow core to 6 panel hollow core.   It’s not hard, the look was dramatically improved, and you get better at it with every one.  I also learned how to re-key Kwikset locks a long time ago, and I do that myself at the rental, and I did it here when we moved in.  Heck I even did it at my secondary location using commercial locksets.  Again, a great skill to have.  I am grateful that my parents taught me so much about remodeling and maintenance and DIY.  I’ve learned a ton since then, but the idea was planted when I was a little ‘helper’.

On the other hand, watching my dad do car repair in the dark, cold, and wet convinced me I never wanted to do it myself.  I WILL do it, out of the desire to save money, or if it’s not a particularly nasty job, but I don’t enjoy it the way I like working around the house.

Dealing with the broken door window stole some time from all the rest of the stuff I needed to do this week.  Dealing with the unplugged freezer stole some more.  My fingers still stink from just picking up the spoiled packages and putting them in the trash, and I re-froze them first!   Several soapy hand washes, and the bleach wash of the freezer couldn’t get the stink off.  It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be able to get the stink out of the freezer itself, so thanks for the heads up whoever mentioned it yesterday.  I took the time to bleach and wash out the freezer.  It still smelled ‘off’ after doing that a couple of times, so I got out the Mold Armor spray.  It’s a disinfectant, viricide, mildewcide, and odor killer.  It also turns yellow when in contact with rotten meat juice residue.   That last fact was a super handy surprise.  A couple of applications of Mold Armor, wiped up with paper towels, and then rinsed with water got it smelling ok.  I sprayed one last time and didn’t wash it out.  I’ve got the door wide open to dry, and today I’ll point it at the sun to get some UV into it too.  I started to total the value of the contents and then stopped.  Several hundred dollars certainly.  It would have been a lot more if it was full.

I need to quit putting it off and get the garage reorg’d so I can get the freezer in place.   I hate change in my personal life and will resist it.  I’m my own worst enemy in this case.  Well, I wouldn’t be quite so reluctant if the temps were mid-70s either instead of low 100s with humidity at ‘full’.

Today or tomorrow I’ll be picking up more auction items.  Namely a dresser and desk for my daughter’s room.  Did I mention that my wife now knows that I can buy stuff at auction?  Got the desk for 2/5ths of retail and the dresser for about 1/5th of retail.  Hopefully, they are both in great condition inside their shipping boxes, or it’s something I can fix if not.  There is a certain amount of risk involved.  Getting better quality for the same price as cheap, or saving big on decent quality (and high style) is the trade off for the risk that something is missing or broken.

Dinner was late, and needed to be quick and easy so I got shrimps from the other freezer and saute’d them with garlic and butter.  Served over 90 second ‘pouch’ rice for a complete meal 🙂   It was either that or ‘breakfast for dinner…’

Keep stacking, keep learning, save some money, save a life…

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

68 thoughts on “Fri. July 10, 2020 – well, another week gone, same old stuff”

  1. Unpleasant smells on skin: you can always try salt. It certainly works for onions, chili, garlic and fish. I haven’t tried rotten fish 🙂

    Anyway, just take a good sprinkle of salt and a bit of water, and rub the salt into your wet hands hands for several seconds. The salt concentration pulls lots of moisture out of your skin, and the smells with it. I imagine someone with dry skin will need to apply lotion afterwards.

    I’m with Nick, in that I enjoy working around the house. Sadly, my Dad didn’t do much of this kind of stuff, so I’ve mostly picked it up as an adult. I won’t claim great quality, and I avoid things I dislike, but electrical work, painting and light carpentry are all fine. I’m going to try to improve my quality enough to be able to do some furniture-like stuff. For example, I saw a pic of a coat rack that I want to reproduce for our entryway in the new house.

  2. It’s going to be in the 100s here for the next week but without the stifling humidity we had in Mississippi. Not unusual for the summer in Oklahoma. I remember the summer of 1995 when it was over 100 for all of July and into August. But we won’t be here to enjoy the oven like temperatures next week. We are off to the Magic Kingdom tomorrow morning.


  3. Not unusual for the summer in Oklahoma

    The newly hired pastor for my church is from just north of Oklahoma. He is returning to OK Monday to pack his household goods, driving back on Wednesday or Thursday. Hope he enjoys the heat after leaving the humidity of East TN.

  4. I tell you, there is NOTHING like sitting in a Microsoft Teams meeting watching an upper level manager 1) struggle with the technology and 2)struggle with his content. It’s almost not worth getting paid to sit through…

    ADD: It isn’t worth it, but I like to eat and not sleep in a cardboard box, so I’ll do it.

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  5. I deal with meetings (except for technical meetings in which I’m contributing or which have information I need) by working while listening with maybe half an ear. Some people on my current job have attempted to bitch at me about it, but I pointed out that most of the useless meetings are scheduled for 0900, which is when I’m busiest in finding what part of the DB fell down this morning (there’s a data load or other DB problem every single day, but they vary by day) and scrambling to pause the scheduled report jobs, inform the DB people that there’s a problem (one member of the DB team will notice on his own; the others all have to be alerted), reschedule or manually run jobs, occasionally send out “we’re having problems; will get you your report later” email if there’s going to be a big delay, and so on. So, Mr Self-Important Boss, what’s more important, that I make a show of listening to you or that I get this work done? No explicit answer was given when I asked that, but the CEO stopped getting on my case.

    I’ll note that so far as I know, in the past year and a half of not listening to the 0900 meetings I’ve missed only one bit of information that would have been important to me. (To wit, the announcement that everyone in the company got the same pay raise, which was less than the official inflation rate let alone the actual inflation rate. So much for the promise that I’d get a really good raise in acknowledgement of the excessive number of hours I worked in 2019 and the ingenious (their assessment, not mine, though I agree) setup I crafted for the servers given the budget and time constraints. Nice way to kill any incentive I had to do more than the minimum of half-assed work, like several of my coworkers, who got the same raise I did.) (Though I’m continuing to work very long hours to get everything done, because I’m a dumbass.)

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  6. I hate being on video chat. So, I like to turn the camera off and if someone says something then I pretend I’m having technical difficulties on my end. Give it a minute or two of pretending to try and fix it and the meeting organizer eventually gets impatient and the meeting moves on with me on audio only. 🙂 Thankfully, I don’t have many meetings.

  7. Ha. I never turn on my camera during group calls and I leave the microphone muted unless I’m talking. I’ll usually turn on the camera for 1-on-1 video calls but I don’t have many of them.

    Screen sharing is more common, as I show someone how to do something or show them what I found that shows they lied about having completed step 6 of the deployment process and do you really want to continue to bluff about having been working all yesterday afternoon when I’m pretty sure you took the afternoon off?

    The data science department of my employer has grown greatly in the past year, with a number of people hired more because they were not white, male Americans than because they had technical expertise or a work ethic.* It was a problem through March and has become a real problem in the past few months. As is the case on almost every programming or engineering team, firing the bottom quarter of the staff would increase productivity. (Though in this case, I’d fire the bottom half.)

    * Most of the tech staff is Data Scientists, as contrasted with programmers, software engineers, or database administrators. That would be great if we were doing much data science, but almost everything we do is mostly-rote production of reports from the database, with a bit effort put into machine learning models and the like. Data scientists by and large are not good programmers. This batch, especially, are terrible programmers because few of them have any relevant commercial experience — doing a few analyses and writing a number of hundred-line Python scripts in school counts for effectively nothing. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were willing to listen and learn about what they’re persistently doing wrong, where “wrong” means unable to run on a computer other than your laptop, but most aren’t.

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  8. @SteveF:

    the announcement that everyone in the company got the same pay raise, which was less than the official inflation rate let alone the actual inflation rate.

    Been there, done that, have the lousy cheap t-shirt. In my case, manglement (MBAs to a man (and I mean man) said, “No raise at regular time. Company-performance-related raise in 6 months.”

    Of course, the company’s performance wasn’t good enough for the company-wide raise. Sales got their new Beemers, though.

    And I was like you, my sense of pride in my work didn’t let me slack off.

    G.

  9. (To wit, the announcement that everyone in the company got the same pay raise, which was less than the official inflation rate let alone the actual inflation rate. So much for the promise that I’d get a really good raise in acknowledgement of the excessive number of hours I worked in 2019 and the ingenious (their assessment, not mine, though I agree) setup I crafted for the servers given the budget and time constraints. Nice way to kill any incentive I had to do more than the minimum of half-assed work, like several of my coworkers, who got the same raise I did.) (Though I’m continuing to work very long hours to get everything done, because I’m a dumbass.)

    Hard work doesn’t pay off. Actually, let me qualify that, hard work done for somebody else doesn’t pay off. A charismatic personality, being in the right place at the right time, and being adept at office politics will take you further in corporate America than skill or overtime will. I stopped trying to fight it or get upset about it. It’s just the way it is. I’m done busting my ass to make somebody else rich.

    My take on “raises”: Inflation usually averages about 2.5%. So, any raise less than that is effectively a pay cut and any raise equal to that is just a cost of living adjustment. Don’t call it a raise unless it’s greater than 2.5%.

  10. The BigCorp where I used to work paid sales guys commission on SALE price, not net PROFIT. So if a Salesman had to drop his shorts to get the deal he would. If it meant obligating us to invent some new tech for even less money than our competitors, he would. If it meant cutting the $40K labor budget for the project (already lower than needed) to get a number the customer liked, he would.

    Then it was up to the field staff to work the extra unpaid hours of labor. It was up to the field staff to make the one-off crap the design team (an intern, or one eastern european ‘engineer’) came up with to fulfill the totally unreasonable part of the spec, work. We were inventing solutions at night on the customer site, for the morning’s review meeting.

    It’s very hard to sustain a business when you miss $80K in labor on a project, or you are 2 years into your punchlist, haven’t gotten sign off, and haven’t received the last payment, because you can’t hit the payment milestone.

    But the sales guys got paid.

    n


  11. hard work done for somebody else doesn’t pay off.

    Agreed. I keep working hard because, as previously noted, I’m a dumbass.

    This is one of the reasons I like contracting, There’s occasional pressure by the client to put in unpaid overtime “because we’re in a crunch right now and really need it” but no obligation to do so. Unless the contracting company sucks (which a lot of them do) they’ll serve as a solid firewall between you and the customer’s demands.

    I took my current job, a salaried job rather than a contract, because the work sounded more interesting than what I’d been doing on the previous handful of contracts. And it was, until I discovered that most of the other developers had been running daily processing jobs and producing reports manually rather than having them run on a server on some schedule. I obtained and set up a server, migrated code to it (and cleaned up the hard-coded paths and other garbage programming) and the next thing I knew my entire job became maintaining the servers, fixing projects so they could be pushed up and scheduled, and other devops jobs. I’m not fond of being the server bitch, so I’m kinda half-assedly looking for a new contract or job.

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  12. The BigCorp where I used to work paid sales guys commission on SALE price, not net PROFIT. So if a Salesman had to drop his shorts to get the deal he would. If it meant obligating us to invent some new tech for even less money than our competitors, he would. If it meant cutting the $40K labor budget for the project (already lower than needed) to get a number the customer liked, he would.

    That’s typical sales, especially at a particular large blue organization. The reps don’t care about long term damage to the organization as long as the commission check clears.

    Right now, the tech organization where I believe sales has the biggest overreach is Citrix.

  13. I’ve seen much the same, Nick.

    I interviewed for a “head of the development team” job some years ago. One point that I hit hard was getting the requirements under control and minimizing the churn of shifting between projects and deliverables. In particular, I would not put up with salesmen making broad promises as regards to features or schedule, especially when the dev team was already behind in meeting some other deadline the salesmen had promised. (I’d previously talked with the current head of the dev team. He was too junior to successfully stand up to the sales cretins, so the developers were constantly being steamrolled.) I provided a general outline of how I’d get the known problems under control, reduce unpaid overtime, and reduce turnover.

    Well. The current head of the dev team loved what I had to say (and told me he wished I’d been the lead developer when he started with the company). The VP of Product Development liked it. The HR guy loved it and would have hired me on the spot, I think. Developer turnover was really hurting the company.

    The two salesmen, on the other hand, said “Under no circumstances hire this guy”. They were doing quite well under the current system of making whatever promise was needed to get the sale, bullying the head of the dev team, throwing blame on the developers when deadlines were missed or quality was bad, and — most important — getting their commissions no matter what.

    I ended up not getting that job. I don’t know how much the objections of the sales cretins played a part, but the foundering point was salary — I’d have had to take a huge pay cut from what I was then making as an hourly contractor. I’d have taken that salary with a bonus system for improvements I made but that wasn’t on offer.

  14. @SteveF:

    Me, too. Although my job was nominally TV programme repackaging to our spec., rather than distributor spec., I soon developed sidelines in IT support. Among which, when $EMPLOYER changed IT support to an oversea firm, rather than the in-house troops, I inherited a once-a-month job – generating the spine labels for the compliance-logging off-air VHS recordings. We were required to record our output so that the licencing authority could, at whim, check that we were complying with the licencing rules. That job entailed running a script, written in Borland Paradox 3.5, once a month, to generate 3 (later 6) labels per channel, per day.

    Eventually, this got up to 10 channels @6 labels a day, and a further 7 (or 8, I misremember) channels @3 labels a day. Took over an hour, and it needed monitoring lest the dot-matrix printer jammed.

    Another such task was a complete printout, once a month, of the complete programme timing database. That took even longer, and to my (fairly) certain knowledge wasn’t consulted very often.

    But, “Mine not to reason why…”

    G.


  15. @SteveF: …. I’m a dumbass

    I’ll claim to be a dumbass, too. I’m being taken advantage of, not at work, but in my own home and there is not much I can do about it.

    I let a friend stay in my second bedroom when they were busted financially (for a valid reason, sick daughter). Rent free since I’m a nice guy. This “friend” has outstayed her welcome and has not used the time to move herself forward financially. We are not getting along anymore. Four months ago I say “move out”. Right after that the state puts in place a COVID Emergency Law which prevents any evictions. Even a person paying no rent cannot be evicted. The Emergency Law expires on August 18th, but a bill was filed last week to extend it for another YEAR. Knowing this state (Massachusetts), it will probably pass. How the hell do I get rid of this person? The law does not allow me to do things like change the locks, or ‘harass’ her in any way. Harass is so loosely defined that anything I do might be considered harassment, and I go to jail.

    I have an appointment with a lawyer on Monday. He will draft an eviction notice and get it served, just so that it is in place when/if the eviction moratorium ends. Hopefully the lawyer will have other advice for me. If she insists on staying then I will insist on rent. I need to find out if I can enact any new household rules in such a way that would not be considered harassment but that she will not want to live by.

    Finding a lawyer to help me was actually difficult. A lot of lawyers say they handle landlord/tenant issues, but will only work on the tenant side of things.

  16. Despite good experiences with our rent house, if I was looking for more rental income, I would be looking at commercial. MUCH easier to get rid of a non-performing tenant.

    Higher churn is possible, if you get the wrong business, but I’ve been with my currently landlord for 17 years…. and some of his tenants were there before me. Most have been there nearly as long as me.

    He told me his father strongly suggested never to own anything with bedrooms or that eats….

    n

  17. Sympathies, JLP. That’s why I sold my other house, because NY rental law (and differential enforcement of same) strongly favors tenants. Over the years I had a number of deadbeats that I couldn’t evict no matter that the law says they can be after certain steps and some delay; they always managed to get a sympathetic judge to issue a stay. (They finally left only when the utility company cut off their electricity, which took ages.) And they invariably left the apartment trashed when they left. Not worth the hassle.

    Concerning your deadbeat no-longer-friend, see what the lawyer says, but I’ll bet you can’t start charging rent, because it would constitute a material change in terms during the “emergency” and that you can’t enforce the paying of rent regardless because you can’t evict.

    As for what to do? Gee, if only you knew someone who lived a few hours away and already had an extensive body count…

  18. Finding a lawyer to help me was actually difficult. A lot of lawyers say they handle landlord/tenant issues, but will only work on the tenant side of things.

    A lot of states have really ugly squatters’ rights laws on the books, and, in many cases, the protections kick in as soon as a piece of mail arrives addressed by name to the resident.

    The worst fight of my marriage was over my wife’s invitation to one cousin to live with us in Florida while he made yet another attempt at college after flunking out once. I would have gladly taken the divorce hit to avoid a squatting family member under Florida’s laws.

    Divorce would have been cheaper and easier on my sanity.

  19. Yeah, the unofficial advice I’ve been given is that I can’t really change anything. I’ll see what the lawyer says. As for your last statement, SteveF… For legal reasons I say I have no idea what you are talking about.

    Moral of the story, don’t be a nice guy. I’m not joking, that is a very serious statement.

    I gotta sympathize with landlords. One place I rented years ago before buying my house was in a big apartment complex. The lease was very long with lots of specific clauses that had to be initialed. One was that neither I, nor any of my guests, would urinate nor defecate off of the balcony. You know that had to have come out of a specific incident. “Show me in the lease where it says I can’t……..”


  20. One was that I, nor any of my guests, would urinate nor defecate off of the balcony.

    What about urinating into a container and then tossing the container off the balcony? Asking for a friend.

  21. I moved out of an apartment many years ago before the end of the lease. The leasing office moved someone in and didn’t tell me, so I kept paying. The management company’s official phone number was disconnected and there was nothing useful in the lease agreement. I think I only paid one month extra, but still, a shitty thing to do.

  22. I’m a dumbass.

    Think your special? I also qualify.

    Bought a new ladder, a Murphy ladder. I have a 20′ extension ladder, a 6′ folding Werner fiberglass ladder, a Little Giant Revolution (folds and extends), a Little Giant Safety step ladder. The Revolution ladder tends to be heavy but is sturdy and adjusts nicely. The fiberglass ladder is lighter, does not extend as far, and is bulky to move around. The step ladder is useful and sturdy for low heights. The 20′ extension ladder is not all sturdy, scary to use, and is only used for a couple of locations when absolutely necessary.

    I needed something that was lighter, easier to store, easier to move around, not as bulky as the Werner and generally not as high. I stumbled across the Murphy Ladder.

    Then I found this ladder. Without being fully extended it is a good height for working in a home with standard ceiling heights. Open it can extend further than the fiberglass ladder against a wall. What makes it nice is that if folds into a fairly small space. Thus it is much less bulky. The ladder is lighter than the Little Giant. The ladder has carrying straps. Fits easily in the corner of the closet. It also is quite sturdy in the open and extended positions. Seems to be a nice compromise for a home ladder. Home Depot had the 7′ ladder on sale today for $129.00. The 10′ foot was $149.00, and the other heights were also on sale. Seemed like a good deal.

  23. One was that neither I, nor any of my guests, would urinate nor defecate off of the balcony. You know that had to have come out of a specific incident.

    I can think of specific situations, but I don’t want to be accused of any -isms. There are advanced cultures on the planet for whom indoor toilets are considered abhorrent across a large portion of the population.

  24. I had a hard drive fail in my NAS this week. Raid 5 array. Wonder of wonders the new drive is working and the array is rebuilding. Hmm, backup? Well, no I don’t have a jump drive that big. It will be here tomorrow and I will schedule automagic backups.

    How is everyone doing on their backups? This is your friendly reminder. 🙂

  25. Sympathies too, JLP. When we inherited our parents mansion in San Francisco we had a problem. My dad hadn’t raised their rent in decades and it barely covered taxes. Rent was over 50% below comparables. Because of SF tenancy laws it was impossible to raise the rent in any meaningful way. We decided to sell but the tenants sued saying we had, by law,to give them 24 months notice AND they had to approve. We couldn’t wait two years so we offered the renters cash incentive to vacate. We negotiated a $20,000 cash payment for them to leave and even then they trashed the place.

  26. 109F in my driveway, 97F in shade up against the brick of the house.

    Got the yard cut. It’s all in shade and now it’s off my list.

    Kids are in the pool. Wife is working at home.

    As soon as I cool off, I’m going to cut up all the firewood I collected and stack it. That will all be in the shade too.

    n

  27. MicroCenter has a 1TB samsung SSD for $110. Inland 512GB for $50. Jeez.

    n


  28. Because of SF tenancy laws it was impossible to raise the rent in any meaningful way. We decided to sell but the tenants sued saying we had, by law,to give them 24 months notice AND they had to approve.

    WTH!? A hit man would be cheaper.

  29. My take on “raises”: Inflation usually averages about 2.5%. So, any raise less than that is effectively a pay cut and any raise equal to that is just a cost of living adjustment. Don’t call it a raise unless it’s greater than 2.5%.

    We received ~ 2.5% raises last year and nothing this year. The company was in trouble pre-virus, and the pandemic was a convenient excuse.

    Email going around this morning indicated that merit raises are not happening for FY’21 so that means none of the developers I work with directly will receive any adjustment through March of next year at a minimum. Meanwhile, new hires in the group are starting at $15-20k more than existing employees as the company takes advantage of the pandemic labor market.

    This probably won’t end well, but a lot of my direct co-workers are young and semi-oblivious.

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  30. @Ray

    Does your post mean we need to talk about LADDERS ? I’m just starting to think that I might have enough FLASHLIGHTS.

    But maybe not.

    I’ve used my ladders maybe 2-3 times a year. Used both of them this week to reach the 1st story gutters for cleaning. But that Murphy ladder looks nice. Their ads are funny (especially the one with the masked wrestler).


  31. We negotiated a $20,000 cash payment for them to leave

    I’ve been thinking about that. Not so much, just a couple of grand to go away. Enough to support her for a month or two in a cheap hotel until she finds someone else to mooch off of. It galls me to think of just giving her money she in no way earned, but my well-being has a value.

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  32. The old door went on the heavy trash pile, which still hasn’t been collected.

    @nick, how often is your heavy trash collected? Municipal or private service? Ours is I think twice a year.


  33. Hard work doesn’t pay off. Actually, let me qualify that, hard work done for somebody else doesn’t pay off. A charismatic personality, being in the right place at the right time, and being adept at office politics will take you further in corporate America than skill or overtime will. I stopped trying to fight it or get upset about it. It’s just the way it is. I’m done busting my ass to make somebody else rich.

    My experience (35+ years in IT) is that hard work is rewarded with more hard work. And never quite adept enough at the office politics game to climb that ladder. And yes, busting your ass without appropriate monetary recognition just ain’t worth it (missed family time, health impacts, etc.) You’re irreplaceable until you’re not.


  34. The BigCorp where I used to work paid sales guys commission on SALE price, not net PROFIT. So if a Salesman had to drop his shorts to get the deal he would. If it meant obligating us to invent some new tech for even less money than our competitors, he would. If it meant cutting the $40K labor budget for the project (already lower than needed) to get a number the customer liked, he would.

    A good part of my IT career was working on internal-facing applications/systems. No sales guys, just product owners trying to push the envelope, but more easily pushed back when gotten out of hand with requirements.


  35. And never quite adept enough at the office politics game to climb that ladder. And yes, busting your ass without appropriate monetary recognition just ain’t worth it (missed family time, health impacts, etc.)

    I played that game. Trying to climb the ladder. I became a manager, more prestige, more money, upward mobility, etc. It was what I had been seeking.

    But hold on. I was dealing with staff issues, management issues, vendor issues, process issues. Calls on nights, weekends, while on vacation. My time was no longer my own. My family life, my home life, my relationship with everyone was being destroyed. I was eventually terminated as I blew up at the primary vendor and they complained to the CEO.

    I took a dead end job. No possible advancement. Salary was enough to pay the bills. My tasks were mostly self guided. My nights and weekends were now back in my possession. Family life was better. Vacations were now my vacations.

    Money and prestige were not what I imagined and management was not a skill set in which I belonged. Code was logical, people were not.


  36. I also learned how to re-key Kwikset locks a long time ago, and I do that myself at the rental, and I did it here when we moved in.

    @nick, if not already doing so, I’ve heard to always check the ANSI ‘Security Level’ for door locks, especially when purchasing them at the orange or blue big-box stores, and avoid Grade 3. Over the years I have moved away from Kwikset and usually go with Schlage.

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  37. I too favor Schlage locks among the big box brands and is what is on my own door in the complex. Abloy and Medico ( sp) are top rated, expensive, and necessarily unfriendly to the DIY. Schlage has more meaty metals in its construction which I find reassuring without any real basis for comparison.

    In addition, my door has Door Armor strike and hinge reinforcement, sleeves around dual deadbolts, a Nightlock anti-battering doorstop and a couple other goodies. The SWAT team would be better served coming thru the drywall over studs wall 6 ft. down the hall. ;P

  38. I too favor Schlage locks among the big box brands and is what is on my own door in the complex. Abloy and Medico ( sp) are top rated, expensive, and necessarily unfriendly to the DIY. Schlage has more meaty metals in its construction which I find reassuring without any real basis for comparison.

    In addition, my door has Door Armor strike and hinge reinforcement, sleeves around dual deadbolts, a Nightlock anti-battering doorstop and a couple other goodies. The SWAT team would be better served coming thru the drywall over studs wall 6 ft. down the hall. ;P

    Or a window.

  39. “Judge refuses to dismiss Flynn case, petitions full appellate court”
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/judge-sullivan-refuses-dismiss-flynn-cases

    “Washington, D.C. federal District Judge Emmett Sullivan is refusing to dismiss the criminal case against former national security advisor Michael Flynn, and is now arguing that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals erred when it ordered him to do so last month in a 2-1 ruling.”

    This is what an activist judge looks like. The House should impeach the judge. Fat chance of that happening.

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  40. “Basic arithmetic is now too offensive for the ‘cancel culture’ ”
    https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/basic-arithmetic-is-now-too-offensive-for-the-cancel-culture-28215/

    “Making its rounds on Twitter is a Tweet stating: “Nope the idea of 2 + 2 equalling 4 is cultural, and because of western imperialism/colonization, we think of it as the only way of knowing.””

    “You might think this is a troll, intentionally causing controversy while remaining anonymous. No one could seriously believe this, right?”

    “But this is an actual PhD student specializing in mathematics education. She is even listed on Rutgers’ PhD student directory,”

    “In fact, she already has a Master’s Degree in architecture… but I’m not sure you would want to go into any buildings she has designed, just in case she thinks structural integrity is another imperialist lie.”

    Any decent college would throw her out. Too bad the decent colleges are few and far between in the USA.

  41. “In fact, she already has a Master’s Degree in architecture… but I’m not sure you would want to go into any buildings she has designed, just in case she thinks structural integrity is another imperialist lie.”

    Don’t laugh. About 25 years ago, I remember that there was a Feminist Physics movement, based on the premise that, by co-inventing Calculus so he could write The Principia, Newton committed an act of male aggression akin to rape.

    Anything to get a grant.

  42. “Treatment Update: I’m Confident That I’ll Get Extra Innings” by Rush Limbaugh
    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2020/07/06/treatment-update-im-confident-that-ill-get-extra-innings/

    “The first two attempts to deal with the cancer failed. One was a targeted therapy of clinical trial drugs, which worked but nearly killed me in the process. And so we had to get off of those. But that at-bat showed me I could hit the pitch. I wasn’t gonna strike out. I was at least able to make contact. We had some hope that there would be a remedy.”

    “The second at-bat was a total and complete failure. I struck out on three pitches. Did not even make contact. So I’m now up in the bottom of the ninth, I’m 0-for-2. I have not reached first base. I didn’t coax a walk out of anybody. I didn’t get a hit, much less a double or a triple. But on my third at-bat, the third attempt, I managed to get on base. I hit a solid single and then stole second.”

    “I am currently on second base hoping to slide into third and eventually make it all the way home. We’re in the bottom of the ninth. If I get all the way home we get extra innings. And that’s what we’re shooting for here. Another reason why I chose baseball — football and basketball have a clock and they end. Baseball doesn’t. Baseball goes as long as the game is tied. Right now I am tied. I need to round the bases and score. I need, however it happens, I need to either steal third, I need to steal home. The guy hitting behind me needs to come up with something.”

    We still need Rush.

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  43. “Marxists Are Dead Serious About Defunding the Police” by Rush Limbaugh
    https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2020/07/10/marxists-are-dead-serious-about-defunding-the-police/

    “RUSH: Folks, I gotta tell you, the level of incompetence at some of the formerly most trustworthy, reliable institutions is one of the greatest elements of this country’s — not destruction. You used to be able to count on things. There used to be institutions that were reliable, you trusted the people in them, you trusted when they came out and said something, especially if they were focused on public safety.”

    “And now that trust just isn’t there. And the answer, the reason why is not that complicated. It is liberal political corruption of these institutions that has led to all this. Now you got people questioning what they hear about anything. For example, the left is serious about defunding the police departments. But yet there’s a poll out that shows most people don’t think that’s what they really mean. They do mean it.”

    “RUSH: By the way, you remember all the social workers that ran into the World Trade Center on 9/11, right? And the Pentagon. Nah, just being a little snarky.”

    We need to change the mission of the police (get rid of the War on Drugs to start with). But, we still need the police. Maybe more than ever as I am watching the crime stats jump like crazy.

  44. From today’s Rush email:

    “”How many of you support Donald Trump because he is the creme de la creme when it comes to character, decency, morality? That’s not why Trump is supported. Trump is supported because a majority of people in this country fear we are losing the country and they think he is the only guy in the Republican Party that has the guts to try to save it.” –Rush”

    Can you imagine Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush standing against these thugs ? Shoot, mittens has been protesting with them.

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  45. @alan, we get heavy trash once a month. It alternates from only organics, ie tree waste, to junk (but can include tree waste.) So green waste every 4th Friday, junk every other 4th Friday.

    WRT to locks, yep, Kwikset is usually bottom of the barrel for name brands. I do install Schlage and can change them too. I’m to the point where I have enough pins I can pretty much set up any keyway I have a cut key for. I actually bought a key machine and a dozen different sets of blanks, but setting it up is WAY down my list. Kids got me a special lockpick for tubular locks for my birthday this year. I try to have fun with locks.

    n

    (I’ve got a couple of Kaba electronic door lock sets, but haven’t installed them in anything. They were on a door at Habitat reStore which I bought for $20…) My plan is to convert a couple of the ‘hotel room’ safes I have left from an auction lot to use push button deadbolts. Projects, I got ’em.

  46. I got the firewood cut and stacked. I cleaned up a gallon of broken glass where the heavy trash guys broke my old door. Vacuuming the yard, oh joy, I must have looked like a kook, but I didn’t want the broken glass in the yard.

    Took number one daughter and did my auction pickup. It’s her stuff, she should spend some time getting it together. None of this stuff happens without time and effort, which the kids don’t usually see, so I’m working on that.

    Now I need to get some dinner together.

    n

  47. Still binge watching “Atypical” on Netflix. Their treatment of high functional autism has been interesting. And just one of the craziest things that I have seen in a while. “Atypical – Paige and penguin”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9p0cEKKZ1o

    Why did Paige kill the penguin ? It did not have anything to do with her and Sam.

  48. Can you imagine Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush standing against these thugs ? Shoot, mittens has been protesting with them.

    Jeb! was a competent Governor of Florida who did a lot of good things for the state, but he wasn’t truly interested in being President, mostly because it would have meant giving up his ex-Playboy Bunny girlfriend and looking at Columba for four to eight years.

    What flies under the radar as an open secret in Tallahassee doesn’t fare as well in DC.

    The next generation of the Bush family dynasty is warming up in the bullpen. George P. will eventually run for Governor of Texas.

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  49. Projects, I got ’em.

    You need that commercial rental property. That is a source of never ending projects.

    I still have 13 of the metal halide 250W and 1000W light fixtures to replace with LED fixtures in my warehouse. I like this fixture because it has the solid iron bar to attach it to beams, walls, etc.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077ZNJRFS/?tag=ttgnet-20

    And they are out of the 200W. That is not good. I only have two of those at the moment. And three of the 150W.

    I have had 5 of the 150 W installed for over a year now with no problems whatsoever. The guys in the warehouse love them since they come on immediately. The old 1000W metal halides take ten minutes to start.

    ADD: I see that they do still have the 240W LED fixture. Maybe I should buy five of those to install this winter.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GZG4TJM/

  50. Took number one daughter and did my auction pickup. It’s her stuff, she should spend some time getting it together. None of this stuff happens without time and effort, which the kids don’t usually see, so I’m working on that.

    Quantity time ! Most Excellent !

    Remember, it takes 10,000 hours for someone to excel in something. You’ve got her started on that path. She will probably choose a different path but you are showing her how to walk a path.

  51. Back from the coast, trying to get back to the daily grind.

    We were the first renters of the season, which made the Covid risk reasonable – if the old lady who rents it didn’t die we are probably OK. Weather was great, crowds minimal.

    No official fireworks, so the beach was a war zone. The local police backed off and didn’t do anything until about 10:30pm, when they started the 4wd’s down the beach.

    Finished the Alec Verus books through volume 10…waiting on November. That was a good recommendation. Started on Pournelle.

    An oddity: other than the stuff he co-authored with Niven there are no J. Pournelle books in the Los Angeles County Library system…paper or digital. Kind of a slap to the face to a local author.

  52. A little over 51 years ago I was issued the last serial number used by the military when I was inducted into the USAF on June 30, 1969. It was a Monday after having taken the bus from Rogue River Oregon to the induction center in Portland on Sunday. I spent the night at the YMCA before being inducted the next day. I had that serial number for less than one day before the military converted to the use SSN (bad idea) on July 1. I still remember that number, 18968952.

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  53. The next generation of the Bush family dynasty is warming up in the bullpen. George P. will eventually run for Governor of Texas.

    He has got to run for Lt. Governor first. The Texas state senate is where they bring the long knives out in the middle of the night. Takes a real man XXXXXX person to be able to take that and still smile for the cameras.


  54. A little over 51 years ago I was issued the last serial number used by the military when I was inducted into the USAF on June 30, 1969. It was a Monday after having taken the bus from Rogue River Oregon to the induction center in Portland on Sunday. I spent the night at the YMCA before being inducted the next day. I had that serial number for less than one day before the military converted to the use SSN (bad idea) on July 1. I still remember that number, 18968952.

    They’ve now abandoned SSNs for privacy reasons and are back to using serial numbers. lol


  55. They’ve now abandoned SSNs for privacy reasons and are back to using serial numbers. lol

    SSNs were scrubbed off IDs, what, 10-15 years ago.


  56. SSNs were scrubbed off IDs, what, 10-15 years ago.

    I got out in ’99 and they were still using SSNs when I was discharged. I think they changed them when they went to those new smartchip ID cards. So, yeah, probably 15 years now.

  57. some good observations in this article.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/personal-finance/heres-what-75-preppers-learned-during-lockdown

    Congrats Lynn, that’s great news. And I’ve got a three pack of these* https://www.amazon.com/LEDMO-Parking-Lights-26000lm-Listed/dp/B07V2KHZGT?tag=ttgnet-20 that I just picked up. They’ll be cheaper than retail….

    Got daughter’s dresser out of the box. There is a little damage that some glue and a couple of clamps should fix with very little effort. We’ll open the desk tomorrow and see what that looks like. Gave her old furniture to one of the moms in the FB neighborhood group. Still some life left in it, and it was old when we got it.

    It was 95F in the shade at sundown. Freaking hot.

    n

  58. I tend to think of Trump as the Rob Ford of American Politics. He isn’t much but just look at the rest!

  59. And I’ve got a three pack of these* https://www.amazon.com/LEDMO-Parking-Lights-26000lm-Listed/dp/B07V2KHZGT?tag=ttgnet-20 that I just picked up. They’ll be cheaper than retail….

    Excellent price !

    I need LED light fixtures that I can bolt to the existing holes in the steel beams in the warehouse. That is why I buy the LED lights with the mounting bar on them. I did find the 200W LED light fixtures for $140 each and am going to order a couple.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TTBRQF/?tag=ttgnet-20

    My biggest problem is getting them installed. Renting a boom manlift is a pain and expensive ($300/day (24 hours)). Plus it is just too hot now (103 F here today !) to work inside the warehouse. Or outside the warehouse.
    https://www.winsim.com/lynn_replacing_warehouse_top_light.jpg

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